Saturday, January 21, 2012

Another Magic Diaries Cloth....

I have, kind of by accident, started a second Magic Diaries cloth, another one to help me think about foraging around in the outdoors here in the city. This one started with a funny little incident, when a squirrel stole a little shibori bundle off the back steps- I set it to drain on the lid of the walnut dye pot. This is kind of what it might have looked like to her, but not as frayed:

Squirrel Chewed in Bundle Form 2

And it tasted like walnuts. So two days later I noticed a squirrel on the peak of the shop behind the kitchen nibbling away on something, something which kept getting bigger. It was the missing bundle unfurling in the wind as she turned it to nibble the edges. I found the cloth where she dropped it:

Squirrel Chewed Holes

All nicely nibbled into a pattern. To preserve her work, I used one of Jude's methods from CWB, which is to just take the whole cloth and slit it where you want to weave something into it. I stitched the squirrel's patterned pieces to a walnut dyed tea towel, which seemed right.

Cutting around the eye/vortex thing below that came out of the same pot on the same day as 'the squirrel incident' (it's a mark made by a huge rusty bearing tied up in cotton), I started cutting in curves. This is another thing Jude taught us in CWB. So these slits, running in parallel but wavering lines, create these shapes that are fascinating me. And the weird warping movement of the thing.

There are twenty things about this so far that I am going to change, but for now it is just so easy to play with. It is almost all found cloth, except for a strip or two of old pillow case (my fern print thing above), some silk from an old blouse of my Mom's, a little yellow sari strip, a patch of linen tablecloth dyed in my indigo jar and a glorious strip of silk from Arlee.

But my favorite thing about this so far is this ivory coloured cloth:

It's a piece of a tent, a former Rag of the Day, that I found tangled up in branches at the river. It's just a fragment of a nylon tent, but it is just my favorite thing. It gives me hope for all of the discarded umbrellas I'll find in the spring. 


  1. bless that squirell, shes given the cloth even greater provenance!

  2. What a treat to come upon your post today ~ so wonderful what you've done with all those nibbles! And I always enjoy seeing what my previous classmates are doing now with Jude's teachings.

  3. what a beautiful, collaborative work of art. I also love your concepts. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I believe you have a very artistic squirrel! I caught a couple of squirrels with their heads down in my walnut bath, stealing the walnuts. I dug the walnuts out and gave them to the squirrels. I can always find more. Now, the squirrel family also stole my prayer flags. I understand wanting good karma in the nest and it might be a cold winter, but all they had to do was ask and I would have given them some rags. Your cloth is wonderful and so spontaneous. Wishing you a creative and beautiful week.

  5. Lovely stuff. Squirrel-assisted art!

  6. a piece of tent


    a fragment of shelter.

    dear squirrel, making do in an opportunistic way.
    i am very fascinated by that concept "opportunistic"

  7. Lovely art! I think you should leave more cloth for her to alter!

  8. Now this is truly weaving! Beautiful and I love that it is found cloth plus a few others. It's got a story, it's story cloth!

  9. I was so intrigued by your post on Magic Diaries that I found my way to your blog. Seeing more pictures of helps me to understand the weaving and construction. And now I understand about the reference to chewing. The squirrel did leave lovely holes. I am fascinated by your gathering rags in your walks around the city. You have opened my eyes for something to look for. Feathers and heart shaped rocks are already on my list. I will be visiting again. Thanks for sharing